Resilience and Memory in the Poetics of Africadia: Sylvia D. Hamilton's And I Alone Escaped To Tell You



Memory, Resilience, Africadians, Black Canada, Slavery


Sylvia D. Hamilton’s collection of poems And I Alone Escaped To Tell You (2014) revolves around the vindication of the little remembered legacy of slavery of Africadians – George Elliott Clarke’s neologism to refer to African Canadians from the Maritime provinces – which acts as a metaphor of the silenced history of Black Canadians. To do so, Hamilton relies on memory work through the lens of resilience and, hence, participates in the recent post-trauma paradigm that is intent on highlighting resistance rather than victimhood. Thus, the resilient memory that emerges from the collection dismisses the position of victims for Africadians and, contrarily, focuses on the capacity to ‘bounce back’, to withstand historical adversities, to endure by being malleable and to adapt to conditions of crisis. Simply put, this resilient memory acts in the poems as the dignified exercise to keep on reinstating and vindicating the silenced history of Black Canada. 


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Author Biography

Vicent Cucarella-Ramon, Universitat de València

Vicent Cucarella-Ramon is an Assistant Lecturer at the University of València. His research interests focus on US and Canadian literatures with a special emphasis on African American and African Canadian literatures. His recent articles on black authors from the US and Canada, such as Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Wayde Compton, Jesmyn Ward or Esi Edugyan, appear on national and international Journals such as Studies in the Literary Imagination, Miscelánea, Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos, Canada and Beyond or International Journal of English Studies. He is the author of the book Sacred Femininity and the Politics of Affect in African American Women’s Fiction (PUV, 2018) and is currently working on a monograph on Canadian slave narratives.


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How to Cite

Cucarella-Ramon, V. (2021). Resilience and Memory in the Poetics of Africadia: Sylvia D. Hamilton’s And I Alone Escaped To Tell You. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 28, 67–84. Retrieved from